A grand Italian coupé. We’re talking elegance. Style. Grace. Pizzazz
Needless to say, we must be looking at a Maserati, one of Ferrari’s great GT’s, or at the very least one of Lancia’s magnifico coupés. Well maybe not…

How about a humble Fiat then? Okay, maybe not so humble, but a Fiat anyway. You probably wouldn’t initially make that connection, but remember that Fiat used to make itself present on the executive market too. In 1969 they launched the 130 Saloon to supersede the by then rather long-in-the-tooth Fiat 2300, and two years later followed the very stylish 130 Coupé fully designed both in and out by Pininfarina.

With the 130 model range, Fiat took a huge leap forward with their range topper. The model featured independent suspension all round, 4 disc brakes, power steering and the option of a 3-speed Borg-Warner automatic gearbox or a 5-speed ZF manual gearbox. They even offered air condition as an optional extra. Furthermore, they had the newly developed 60-degree V6 engine developed by Ferrari engineer Aurelio Lampredi, which by the time the coupé was introduced had grown to 3.2 litres delivering a healthy 165hp. The whole 130 range was positively received and especially praised for its excellent handling characteristics. With the saloon being discontinued in 1976, the still elegant coupé soldiered on for another year reaching just short of 4,500 units before it too ceased production.

Two totally different bodies for the Saloon and the Coupé, but both demonstrating subdued elegance and style.

Deep velour in funky 70’s colours was the order of the day in these luxurious coupés.

This particular example is a LHD car from 1974, which has been imported into the UK from Italy. The selling dealer in West Sussex claims it only had one previous owner in Italy before coming to the UK. They equally claim the car is rust-free and original, and point out that it’s even got the rare manual ZF 5-speed gearbox, which at least to me seems like a big plus. The beautiful coupé body has apparently had a respray at some point in the past. Preferred colour for any given model is of course always a matter of opinion, but I personally feel there are much better colours for the sharp Pininfarina lines than plain white.  Of course, once you’re sat inside that lush interior, you won’t be thinking much about the exterior. The 130 could be had with either leather or velour seats, and while leather might by many be perceived as the more luxurious, I must confess to having a severe obsession with thick 70’s velour – and even more so when they’re deliciously orange as these. Even though the seller admits that the driver’s seat could do with a little attention, I still struggle to find a more funky and seriously appealing interior to cruise along in than this one, without having to spend a whole lot more of your hard earned play-money than the asking price for this range topping Fiat.

These are a few select pictures of the handsome Fiat 130 Coupé still wearing its original Cromodora alloys:

There are more pictures along with the description on the dealers website:

http://www.orchardclassics.co.uk/FIAT130.html

At £ 9,995 it would probably be naive to expect perfection from this Fiat 130 Coupé, but all import taxes have been paid, it’s UK registered and also has a fresh MOT. At this asking price – even if there are a few areas which could be improved – it seems to offer a whole lot in terms of both styling, mechanical finesse, luxurious interior and even rarity to boot! I’m sadly a few grand short at the moment, but if that hadn’t been the case, I would have honestly been driving south to view this beauty for myself, instead of sharing the link…

 

 

With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to primefindoftheweek@viaretro.co.uk

5 Responses

  1. Claus Ebberfeld
    Claus Ebberfeld

    I totally agree, Anders: The white colour does not do the design full justice. On the other hand a manual is not found that often. I am very ambivalent on this one, although the price seems rather attractive.

    Reply
  2. Anders Bilidt
    Anders Bilidt

    Claus, it’s arguably the grandest of Grand Touring you’ll find at £ 10,000. It’s designed by Pininfarina, has heaps of Italian flair, a lovely V6 engine, 5-speed manual gearbox, and then there’s that orange velour interior…
    Personally, I could learn to live with the plain white exterior colour.
    I tip my hat to any reader who can come up with a more impressive GT within these price constraints!

    Reply
  3. Claus Ebberfeld
    Claus Ebberfeld

    Oooohnooooooooooo! It ended in 5,350 £…

    …I sure hope that was you, Anders.

    Reply
  4. Anders Bilidt
    Anders Bilidt

    …and I sure wish it was me too, Claus.

    Sadly though it was not. But some enthusiast out there sure got himself a damned cool Grand Tourer for pocket money…

    Reply

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